Richard Malone: Wexford fashion designer selected as prestigious talent

The young Irish fashion designer 24 year old Richard Malone from Wexford, a graduate of Central St Martins and winner of the LVMH Grand Prix Scholarship has been selected by the BBC as one of the most creative up and coming talents to watch as part of their Young Artists Day initiative. The selection puts the spotlight on young people at the beginning of their careers in the creative sectors who may be the big names of the future in music, poetry, dance, composing, writing, video, art, fashion design and photography. Malone is the only fashion designer in the group and the only one from Ireland.

On Monday 4 May BBC3 the day of programming dedicated to young artists will include live interviews, commissions and features and from 9-10, Malone will be interviewed by Sarah Walker with Artist of the Week the young classical pianist Benjamin Grosvenor.

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From Ardcavan in Wexford, Malone’s graduate collection based on Irish youths after the recession rebelling through their clothes won accolades from Vogue, Love and Dazed & Confused, but also the Deutsche Bank award of 10,000, the first Irish student – and the first BA – to be awarded the prize.

Now dividing his time between Ireland and the UK, he has just launched his autumn winter collection all handmade in his studio, a little shed in Wexford. “I stay original by recording conversations with interesting people and extracting things from it”, he told Dazed & Confused adding that he felt intimidated initially at Central St Martins “because I was always the poor one who could not afford the expensive fabrics or a seamstress, but it just makes you work harder.”

An advocate of class diversity in fashion education, he bemoans the fact that working class kids have little opportunity to get to third level and now that the fees have gone up in places like Central St Martins, the mix of backgrounds so much a feature of the school, will no longer continue. To get himself through college he had to work in several jobs to pay for everything.

Opting to remain independent since he graduated, he has found encouragement and support for his work and his first collection sold in the UK and in Australia. His autumn/winter collection, a continuation of his first with recycled materials like leatherette, printed cotton and gingham in exaggerated shapes, padded and quilted will be part of Create in Brown Thomas in July. “It will be finished on the inside like a blanket and have lots of unexpected details”, he says.

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